Making the Transition

In the early years of learning how to write we were all taught to never start a piece by saying, “I’m going to write about…,”  but I’m not sure such rules apply here.  With that being said, here goes nothin’.  To kick off my first blog post, I’m going to start by discussing the transition from living at home, eating Mom’s home-cooked, relatively healthy, family recipes to living in a dorm and having any type of food within reach at all hours of the day… and night. 

The infamous “freshman 15” is a well known idea.  In fact, try typing it into a Google search (it’s your third option to research once you’ve typed the word, “freshman”).  Let’s keep this positive though.  In all reality not all freshmen gain 15 pounds in their first semester away at school.  The average weight gain is between 3 and 7 pounds.  However, the new lifestyle chosen by freshmen typically continues throughout their college career which could potentially result in a weight gain of 15 pounds or more by graduation.  So, it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle from the get go. 

Stay active
Sure, you’re not on your high school’s soccer or volleyball team anymore, but that doesn’t mean every day after class you’re entitled to sit on your futon, eat a bag of potato chips and catch up on Teen Mom. 

  • Walk to class and around campus.  Refrain from always jumping on the campus bus or driving your car.  One hour of walking burns about 300 calories.  That’s at least, maybe more, than the average amount of calories most college students eat for breakfast.  If you attend a large university it’s easy to walk that much on any given day.  Plus, you’re likely to save time.  Traffic around campus can get crazy.

  • Take a class at your university’s recreation center or gym.  Most universities, such as Kent State, offer classes like yoga, spinning and even kickboxing.  Some classes can even be taken for credit.  Working out is always easier when you have a buddy, or someone to push you.  This is a great way to meet people, too.   

Be aware of on-campus dining
Universities tend to have a ton of yummy, but unhealthy places to dine.  Be conscious of what you’re ordering.  By all means, take advantage of your meal plan, but don’t get dessert every night just because it’s there. 

  • Snack on healthy foods like granola bars or fruits to prevent yourself from indulging in unhealthy foods due to extreme hunger.  Too often college students get in a rush and grab the fastest meal they can get their hands on.  Typically, this is a greasy sandwich and/or french fries.  Look for grilled or baked options as opposed to fried. 
  • Treat yourself, in moderation.  It’s OK to eat dessert sometimes or enjoy a fu-fu coffee once in a while.  It’s not OK to make this an everyday occurrence.  But, certainly don’t deprive yourself of such treats.  It’s important to reward yourself.  That’s what keeps you going. 

Unfortunately, these few tips are not life savers.  But, each will help you stay on track upon making your transition to college life.  It takes 2 weeks to develop a new habit.  Challenge yourself.  Try these small steps for 2 weeks.  The longer you do it, the more habitual it becomes and the easier it is.

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2 Responses

  1. In college, many of us do not know where to star when trying to make lifestyle changes. This seems like a good place to refer my friends to.

    • Thanks Sarah! That would be great. I hope they find value in some of my posts.

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